Author Topic: KiCAD online library / generator  (Read 6605 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline E

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 26
  • Country: de
KiCAD online library / generator
« on: July 16, 2014, 12:35:43 pm »
Hey guys,

I made an online KiCAD library for footprints and parts as well as generators for default parts. It's still in a rather early state, but it already works:
http://kicad.feinarbyte.de

The reason I made this is myself being annoyed by the library system status quo. I often end up making my own footprints and parts because I can't find the right ones or don't trust the measurements in more complicated parts. As I usually don't organize the files, I lost parts I made before and had to redo the work. Finally I decided to make an online library for everyone to use, so  the effort of all the people that make their own parts like me isn't wasted, but can be shared.

So far you can:
generate parts (schema)
generate footprints (pcb)
upload parts & footprints
rate parts
search parts

If the service is welcome, I'll add more features like commenting, different generators and so on.
Let me know what you think.

To use the parts, select the items you like and then click the download button in the top of the window. Library files will be downloaded, that you can include in eeschema/pcbnew. If you want to add parts, just select, redownload, overwrite and restart kicad. In the future I might try to make a plugin/branch for kicad directly.




 

Online homebrew

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 253
  • Country: ch
Re: KiCAD online library / generator
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 07:46:56 pm »
Hmm ...

The problem here is somewhat the same as with many projects driven by their capabilities rather than user demands or workflow procedures ...

Yes, the kicad library system (I mean the git based 10'000 different library repositories) is really shitty and yes, someone should do something about that!

But why not going the simple way and maintaining a SINGLE version controlled (cvs/svn/git/mercurical/whatever) repository? Thereby users could download all lovely components at once, have automated updates, have their own branches etc. etc. However, as you did it from scratch, all those features are lost ...
You could also add a nice web-frontend complementary to the version control system to submit new parts, maybe with a peer-review process (to ensure quality) or components in "beta state"  and whatnot.

Two things I particular don't understand in your solution:

Rating of components.
1) What do I rate here? The component itself? The schematic symbol? Its footprint?
2) Why should I bother, unless several models of the same component are in your library? Can/should that be possible? Why?
3) Either I do need a special representation for whatever reason in my project (I never had that feeling) or I just take one existing symbol. Apart from that a symbol and footprint is either correct or incorrect. (I'm not talking about generated parts here, see down below ...)

Generating components.
1) Why would I want to generate schematic symbols? It ends with symbols that have sequential pin numbering which is exactly not the purpose for a schematic symbol. It should abstract from the footprint and focus on logic grouping and organisation of its pins.
2) Instead of a generation functionality I would see much more demand for an import functionality. Just as an example, Farnell (or better element14) has 1000s of components in the Eagle format (XML). Apart from potential licensing problems I don't see any reason for not using those files to generate (translate to) high quality symbols and footprints for kicad.

I really would be interested in building such an infrastructure (or helping you to build one) but I would strongly suggest to conduct a survey on the desired functionality. This community might be a good place to start from... just to get the requirements right before investing a huge amount of time ...
 

Offline Bassman59

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1196
  • Country: us
  • Yes, I do this for a living
Re: KiCAD online library / generator
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 10:58:29 pm »
Yes, the kicad library system (I mean the git based 10'000 different library repositories) is really shitty and yes, someone should do something about that!

That git shit is a response to the previous shitty library system, which wasn't managed at all. I guess the devs thought it was a good idea.

Quote
But why not going the simple way and maintaining a SINGLE version controlled (cvs/svn/git/mercurical/whatever) repository? Thereby users could download all lovely components at once, have automated updates, have their own branches etc. etc. However, as you did it from scratch, all those features are lost ...
You could also add a nice web-frontend complementary to the version control system to submit new parts, maybe with a peer-review process (to ensure quality) or components in "beta state"  and whatnot.

If he supplies a single repository, the user has a working copy of that repo and something simple like $ svn update gets the latest versions of all of the components. I suppose for sanity's sake, the repo can contain some organization so you can it has some organization (passives, IC, whatever).

BUT I still think the wise user maintains his own libraries separate from other sources. So if I want to use a component in someone else's library, I'll pull it from their svn or git repo and copy it into my own repo (after vetting and possible mods for whatever reason).
 

Offline E

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 26
  • Country: de
Re: KiCAD online library / generator
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2014, 09:57:51 pm »
Thanks for the feedback.

The part generator is not very advanced yet. This project is in a very early stage and I posted it here mainly to have some people try it out and get some feedback. In my opinion doing this whole thing via git or similar is a bad idea, since there is no good management functionality. I don't want all possible parts and footprints on my PC and download updates for them all the time. I wanna search an online repository using good filters and search algorithms to get the part I need quickly.
In the best scenario, this is already implemented in KiCAD, so I don't have to do any manual downloading or similar. I just type in some keywords or set a filter (like 48pin, 2.54mm pitch) and will be presented with the best matching footprints or parts.

About the star rating system: the thought behind the online library is to use the crowd to make it awesome. Many people might do parts that already exist, because they're too lazy to search or maybe because the wanna put in a little extra effort and group the pins in a more logical way or add some nice drawings to make the part better. The rating allows the users to determine which part is good and which might even be better.
You're right that a part either works or not, and it probably would be sufficient to put a like button there instead of stars, but why not stars? Everyone knows how they work and what they mean and it allows you to differentiate a tiny bit better.

About logical groupings in the part generator by the way: you can reorder pins by typing a non-sequential order of pin numbers into the input boxes on the right. (For example, look at this part: http://kicad.feinarbyte.de/part/XTAL4/4370119f-1eda-4ce4-bf2e-b763332739e8).

--
I just realized that the website down due to a bad subdomain configuration. It's back up.
 

Offline madworm

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 373
  • Country: de
Re: KiCAD online library / generator
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2014, 10:54:08 pm »
You guys do know about this one, don't you?

http://www.kicadcloud.com/

 

Offline E

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 26
  • Country: de
Re: KiCAD online library / generator
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2014, 09:15:46 pm »
Nope I didn't :) It looks like an attempt similar to mine but a bit different in the details. I'll have to check it out further. Thanks for the pointer.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf